San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rican lawmakers pass anti-hunting law

Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly on Monday unanimously passed in a second and final round of debate the first law sent to Congress by a public initiative. The law prohibits hunting for sport, and Costa Rica became the first country on the continent to ban sport hunting.

The new law fines violators up to $3,000.

Assembly President Víctor Emilio Granados said the law “will permit us to live in peace with other living creatures on the planet.”

“I think this is a message we are sending future generations that hunting for sport is not a sport, but a brutality,” Granados said.

In early October, lawmakers approved the bill in a first-round debate, after it was sent to Congress by public initiative, which requires the signature of 175,000 Costa Ricans.

The text of the new law was sent to the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, which found no constitutional violations.

To take effect, President Laura Chinchilla must sign the law, which she has promised to do.

The law allows hunting only for personal consumption in limited circumstances, scientific research or wildlife population control. It does not affect sport fishing, a popular tourist activity in the country.

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